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Water 2017, 9(11), 841;

Enhancing the Economic Value of Large Investments in Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) through Inclusion of Ecosystems Services Benefits

Water Science and Engineering Department, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, 2611 AX Delft, The Netherlands
CSI Ingenieros, Soriano 1180, 11100 Montevideo, Uruguay
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 10 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sponge Cities: Emerging Approaches, Challenges and Opportunities)
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Although Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are used in cities across the world as effective flood adaptation responses, their economic viability has frequently been questioned. Inclusion of the monetary value of ecosystem services (ES) provided by SuDS can increase the rate of return on investments made. Hence, this paper aims at reviewing the enhancement of the economic value of large-scale investments in SuDS through inclusion of ecosystem services. This study focuses on the flood reduction capacity and the ES benefits of green roofs and rain barrels in the combined sewerage network of Montevideo Municipality in Uruguay. The methodology comprises a cost–benefit analysis—with and without monetised ES provided by SuDS—of two drainage network configurations comprising: (i) SuDS; and (ii) SuDS and detention storage. The optimal drainage design for both these drainage configurations have been determined using SWMM-EA, a tool which uses multi-objective optimisation based evolutionary algorithm (EA) and the storm water management model (SWMM). In both design configurations, total benefits comprising both flood reduction and ES benefits are always higher than their costs. The use of storage along with SuDS provides greater benefits with a larger reduction in flooding, and thus is more cost-effective than using SuDS alone. The results show that, for both of the drainage configurations, the larger investments are not beneficial unless ES benefits are taken into account. Hence, it can be concluded that the inclusion of ES benefits is necessary to justify large-scale investments in SuDS. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sustainable Drainage Systems; multi-objective optimization; multiple values Sustainable Drainage Systems; multi-objective optimization; multiple values

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Vincent, S.U.; Radhakrishnan, M.; Hayde, L.; Pathirana, A. Enhancing the Economic Value of Large Investments in Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) through Inclusion of Ecosystems Services Benefits. Water 2017, 9, 841.

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